Enterprise IT in 2020 – A Minimal Viable Vision

Enterprise IT in 2020 – A Minimal Viable Vision

2 Responses

  1. Hussein, I like your vision and approach in describing a “grown up” approach to development in a mature department with reasonable automation and where people are encouraged to manage their own productivity and think about that of their colleagues (where face to face meetings are frowned upon as an inefficient and costly work practice). I like your point about how [traditional] middle managers who are not bought into the culture of distributed co-operation get short shrift from those who are.

    But I’m afraid that this modern and mature, self-managed, distributed culture flies in the face of the much more modern agile practices pioneered and proven in digital environments and surely destined to impact much of traditional corporate IT by 2020. Users value the interaction, they insist on being involved, they don’t like traditional IT’s habit of working in silos or in darkened rooms no matter how excellent the code.

    I’m interested in how you see this. Is agile simply a development method appropriate to certain types of system or is it more of a culture shift where a much wider array of corporate users, experts and even customers need to be given a voice? By most measures this might be seen to be inefficient.

  2. Hello Brinley,

    Thank you very much for reading and responding to my post, I greatly appreciate the feedback. I’m certainly not advocating silos or having IT being separated from the user community quiet the contrary. In the scenario I describe the ‘user’/’customer’ is the trading desk and the developer is an integral part of the trading desk. There is no separation between customer and IT in this scenario.

    A Distributed development capability is at the heart of community software (as opposed to Agile which I think far too overloaded a term to have any real meaning anymore, and I say this as a signatory of the Agile Manifesto). What I’m advocating is the formation of communities that cooperate to delivery products/services/feature requests rather than what seems to be to be a highly antiqued traditional ‘hierarchical project’ structure with users and IT being ‘managed’ by a professional class of managers.

    The community members work from wherever they are most productive and that means all members of the community being prepared to show some flexibility in how they expect to contribute to the project and meeting the expectations of other community members. Having formalised structures of engagement is fine, as long as all community members consent to such an approach. Equally the engagement structure could be extremely fluid, again that is fine as long as there is consensus and the productivity of the team is demonstrably high.

    There is no point in coercing a talented developer that does not want direct interaction on a daily basis with a customer to have daily meetings. Likewise if a customer wishes to formalise the structure of engagement with IT on a monthly basis why can’t we use technology and some agreed expectations to manage that demand?

    As I state in the post recognising that the essence of technology is to increase the capacity and capability of human action, we should use technology to create a more productive workplace my giving community members a higher degree of flexibility in choosing how they deliver.

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